Flying along the Aleutians

Today’s flight

And we are off!

Beautiful day in Homer. Really great place and such friendly people- everyone we met speaks so highly of their home.

There are are a surprising amount of diverse communities here in this remote part of Alaska. A number of indigenous groups (there are 229 distinct indigenous communities spread across Alaska) and many different churches with a range denominations including Russian communities of Old Believers- an orthodox Russian community who fled Russia end of the 19th century. Their communities are found all around the world (interesting history)

Fuelling up in the morning in Homer

The Kodiak is able to fly these long legs as there are ferry tanks located behind the front seats and this additional fuel extends the range

We also put on our dry suits which we have on during flights over water

For these flights over big water we also carry a life raft which is stored just behind our seats

We got off just as the fog started to settle in

Clear skies for the first while

Snow covered volcano

The following are photos of the changing landscape along the way

Small airstrip and community
Then up to 18,000 feet to get out of the clouds and potential icing

Our breathtaking scenery became a breathtaking altitude and we wore oxygen for the remainder of the flight

The Aleutians are a chain of 14 large volcanic islands and 55 smaller islands. The form part of the Aleutian arc in the Northern Pacific and the occupy an area of 6821 mi.² and extend 1200 miles westward from Alaska to Russia The islands with their 57 volcanos form the northern most part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and is one of the worlds most active volcano centers.

A photo of a chain of islands coming into Adak taken 2 years ago – as it was overcast this time
2 years ago as well

Large island just out of Adak coming in today
Interesting circles in the side of the mountain

Curious what these circles could be. There is a big military history here and lots of remnants of their presence. We are told that military personnel come in to blow up old explosives here. There are signs around the island to not pick up metal from the ground as it could blow up

Landing in Adak

Cold and windy- and despite landing in low clouds the other side of the island much brighter with broken cloud

The weather here is most often overcast skies, high winds (sometimes winds in excess of 120 mph), lots of rain and frequent cyclonic storms.

It really is a fascinating place. Dylan and I were here 2 years ago while delivering a plane. What was once a thriving community- is largely abandoned and buildings in such a bad state – literally blown away.

During WW2, tens of thousands of American troops were deployed to Adak. After WW2 Adak became a strategically important Cold War base snd housed over 6,000 people. The military went to incredible effort and expense to make the island hospitable. This included a movie theatre, rec centre, down hill skiing and a McDonalds! In the mid 1990’s the base was abruptly closed. (We were told by locals that literally cigarettes were left burning in ashtrays)

There is now a population of 65 people. Walking around this time it seems more cleaned up and is said that the military is coming back

There is an abundance of salmon, bald eagles, and large Norwegian rats here.

One thought on “Flying along the Aleutians

  1. We are really enjoying following across the skies and looking through your lens to places so few people get to see or visit. Love your blog. Thanks for sharing. Keep safe and hope you continue to make good time with hospitable weather. Love, D and B


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